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Invas1on

[How to] Bypass HP/Lenovo Laptops Bios Whitelist NO BIOS MODS Required

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This is going to be a long thread, so I will provide the cliffs beforehand.

Cliffs

  • If you still have to stock WLAN card installed, good; otherwise, take out the replacement WLAN and put the stock one back in.
  • Install the kexts required for your replacement WLAN card, reboot at least once before going to next cliff.
  • Disassemble laptop, leaving the internals exposed.
  • Boot off battery power, do not use AC power.
  • Boot into Clover, do not boot into OSX partition.
  • Replace the stock WLAN card with the replacement WLAN card.
  • *Careful not to touch any of the internals or you might short the circuit and cause the laptop to shut itself off abruptly.
  • Still in Clover, stealthily switch over to AC power and remove the battery so you can reassemble the laptop.
  • Reassemble the laptop.
  • Boot into OSX partition
  • You're all done.
  • Never shutdown, restart, or let the laptop go to sleep or you might lose Wi-Fi and have to redo the whole thing again!

/Cliffs

Background

I ordered a Broadcom DW1830 WiFi/BT card for my HP laptop earlier this month to replace the stock RTL8723BE. When the card arrived, I got the dreaded Error 104: Unsupported Wireless Device, which is the telltale sign that my laptop has a whitelist and only the chosen few WLAN cards are qualified to be installed in my laptop, and unfortunately, none of them are OSX-compatible. My initial thought was to look for an unlocked / modded bios but to no avail, because HP has decided to RSA-sign their BIOS, and that made it impossible for anyone to flash a modified BIOS without bricking their laptop.

I discovered this trick while browsing through a thread on BIOS-modding regarding the subject matter of obtaining the Device and Vendor IDs from an incompatible WLAN card. The trick involved replacing the WLAN card during Windows' Boot menu. This trick will result in Windows "seeing" the WLAN card as an unknown device, and it will provide the Device and Vendor ID required to mod the BIOS into accepting the WLAN card, but this is not a solution for me because my BIOS is RSA-signed and cannot be modified externally.

Procedures(detailed)

  1. First, you need to be able to boot into OSX with your current WLAN card, even if it's unrecognized. Then you need to install the kexts required for your replacement WLAN card. For me, I installed the Broadcom patches from RehabMan. Rebuild caches and reboot your laptop at least once.
  2. Disassemble your laptop, exposing the internals. Make sure that the WLAN card is easily accessible.
  3. Boot your laptop using battery power. The battery does not like to stay in without the backplate holding it in place, so make sure that it doesn't slide out.
  4. Boot into Clover, stop the countdown to boot into OSX and do nothing.
  5. Replace the stock WLAN card with the replacement WLAN card. For me, I have connected the antenna to the replacement WLAN card beforehand so I just have to unlock the screw and put the new WLAN card in there and replace the screw.
  6. When you reinstall the backplate, make sure to start from the AC connector. This is because the battery will get in the way when you replace your backplate, so you have to make sure that your AC adapter can be connected to your laptop through the charging hole in the backplate.
  7. Once the AC adapter is plugged in, remove the battery and putting in the screws.
  8. Put the battery back in, and you should still be at the Clover boot screen.
  9. Boot into OSX
  10. Disable sleep, and prevent your laptop from ever shutting down or restarting because you will lose Wi-Fi and you will have to redo everything again.

What works and what doesn't

Using a Dell DW1830 WLAN card, I can safely say that both BT and WiFi worked flawlessly. The only thing is that I cannot turn neither one of them off, otherwise I will lose both.

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 5.32.00 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 5.32.16 PM.png

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I can't figure out how to edit the post to add in more information, so here goes.

The reason why you need the stock WLAN card installed when booting into Clover is to get the BIOS to enable power to the WLAN card slot. It might be tempting to boot without a WLAN card, but doing so will result in the BIOS not sending any power to the WLAN card at all, so you still won't be able to see the new WLAN card even if you manage to boot into OSX.

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